Greear Withdraws From Race, Gaines Wins SBC Presidency

J.D. Greear announced Wednesday he would withdraw from the race for president of the Southern Baptist Convention during the SBC's annual meeting in St. Louis.

Greear told the convention he prayed last night and believes “we need to leave St. Louis united.” Gaines said “there’s no way God is not doing something in all of this.” He said he has decided internally Tuesday night to withdraw but agreed to serve as president after a conversation with Greear.

ST. LOUIS (BP) — Following a runoff vote that didn’t produce a majority winner on Tuesday (June 14), North Carolina pastor J.D. Greear announced Wednesday he would withdraw from the race for president of the Southern Baptist Convention during the SBC’s annual meeting in St. Louis. Greear’s decision – in an effort to help bring unity following a close vote – avoided a second runoff and left Tennessee pastor Steve Gaines elected by acclamation as president of the SBC.

Greear told the convention he prayed last night and believes “we need to leave St. Louis united.”

Gaines said “there’s no way God is not doing something in all of this.” He said he has decided internally Tuesday night to withdraw but agreed to serve as president after a conversation with Greear.

“I just wanted Jesus to be lifted high” and the convention to be united, Gaines said.

On the original ballot, the three candidates included Gaines, Greear and New Orleans pastor David Crosby.

In the first ballot cast by 5,784 messengers, Crosby received 583 votes or 10.08 percent; Gaines received 2,551 votes, or 44.1 percent of the votes; and Greear received 2,601 votes, or 44.97 percent. None of the candidates received 50 percent or more of the votes.

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